MPI and NAEAC encourage the principles of humane experimental techniques when animals are used in research, testing, or teaching.
New Zealand promotes the use of the 3 Rs in animal research, testing, and teaching.
Replace animals with a non-sentient alternative.
Reduce the number of animals used to the minimum possible.
Refine methodology to minimise or eliminate impact of the research on animals.
Animal ethics committees must take the 3 Rs into account when considering proposals for research, testing, or teaching. This means that animals should only be used when there are no alternatives. Any harm to animals must be minimised and weighed against the benefit to humans or other animals.
Scientific advances have changed the use of animals in research. Recent developments let researchers reduce the number of animals used, in certain situations. Developments have helped researchers refine their methods to minimise or eliminate pain and distress.